Johnson Brothers turkey platter

jo bros turkey platter

Michelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form. Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:

Q: My mom had this platter for years and only used it on Thanksgiving; we had ham for Christmas. I think it is about the ugliest platter I have ever seen but if it is worth anything I might just keep it. Can you tell me how much it is worth?

A: Turkey platters abound and as a matter of fact it is a collecting genre all of its own.  With the British economy struggling after the Revolutionary War, British potteries began targeting the American market by crafting dinnerware that would sell well in the USA. Transferware and flow blue items soon flooded the market depicting patriotic scenes, historical landmarks and the westward expansion. Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday of November to be the nation’s official Thanksgiving Day in 1863. Around 1870, English potters began producing turkey themed wares for the American market in honor of the newly declared day of Thanksgiving. Even companies such as Wedgwood jumped on the turkey-themed wagon with stunning pieces.

 Your turkey platter was made by the Johnson Brothers pottery in England (1883-2003*). Based on the mark on the back your particular platter is circa 1930. The pattern is named “His Majesty” and was discontinued for many years but reintroduced in 2004.

Your 20” platter has a resale value of $100-$125.  

note – In 2003 Johnson Brothers ceased production in England and the dinnerware is now being made in China.

note – All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawn shop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

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  1. Thank you for the tinfo on the Johnson turkey platter. My understanding of the one I have is that my grandmother brought this with her from Scotland in the 1800’s….Does age affect the value?

    • Michelle Staley

      In the early days of Johnson Brothers they made Ironstone, Earthenware aka White Granite items. These are heavy duty pieces and made for everyday use.

      In 1888 they began producing patterns under-glaze such as the “Old Majesty turkey platter.

      As far as value between the old and newer this depends on the buyer. Some collectors prefer the older pieces made in England and others really don’t care they just love the platter and design.

      In my shop I would price an old piece about $25 more than a more contemporary one.

      Thank you for your question, Michelle

  2. I am considering purchasing a 12 place setting set of His Magesty from the old release. What value would this set have. There are no serving pieces.

    • Michelle Staley

      Thank you for visiting my appraisal site.

      On questions such as this all I can say is if you are happy with the price then I would jump right in. It is also appropriate to negotiate the price to see if the seller will come down the on the price.

      Serving pieces, such as the platter, are always more costly than the dinner plates, etc.

      Thank you, Michelle

  3. Hi . I have the same platter plus 12 plates 12 cups and 12 cup plates . My grandma had them Sence I was a baby and I’m 53 years old . How do you tell how old these are

  4. I have this complete 12 place setting, gravy boat, platter and other pieces that was my grandmothers for many yrs. I use it every yr.

  5. Earl and Marsha Broadwell

    My wife and I are past 75 and have just started collecting the “becoming rare” Johnson Brothers Old England Castles – pink series. Her family history has be traced back to the Ragland Castle which prompted our interest. We do k=not know what the markings mean and have looked at internet information extensively. “Crown no-Crown” for example. We know post-2003 pieces are china made. In addition we would like to know all the varied pieces that were produced. There are so many variations of each piece. We are, however, trying to assemble a complete collection. Looks like it will take to eternity Earl-Marsha Hoover, Alabama

    • Michelle Staley

      I apologize for the delay, I have/had a wonderful book about Johnson Bros but it is either buried under a pile or was left behind at an appraisal event.

      Johnson Bros began production of their pottery in 1883 after they bought out Parkhurst & Co. potteries. From 1883 to 1913 the Royal Arms was used
      as a backstamp. The early marks had Parkhurst & Co. along with Johnson Bros (primarily 1883 to 1890) From 1883-1913 the backstamp included “Royal Ironstone” which was their sole production in the early days. This is a utilitarian, all white or shade of white, pottery. Circa 1990, semi-porcelain was added to the backstamp along with Johnson Bros and England. A crown took the place of the Royal Arms and Johnson Bros was on a banner. From 1913 onwards, you often find the pattern name above the crown and Johnson Bros. England beneath the crown or no pattern name and just the later. Toward the end of the Johnson Bros pottery days you can find a shield included with the crown, pattern name, Johnson Bros England. The last contemporary mark showed a bull above Johnson Bros England. When they were purchased by Wedgwood the bull image remained. In 1980 “Bull in a China Shop” was used as a brand name for Wedgwood group Creative Tableware Division inc. Johnson Brothers, J&G Meakin, Midwinter, Unicorn and Franciscan.

      I hope that this helps you.
      Sincerely, Michelle

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